He was until his demise, perhaps the only surviving minister of the First Republic. He was a diplomat extraordinaire; he died as a diplomat, and was treated like an ordinary Ghanaian, who did not leave an imprint in our lives.
He was an institution, his memory and experience we all tapped into, anytime, we find ourselves at a cross-roads.
Only a nation of hypocrites, led by a media interested in tangential, will not spend the same amount of time and days, devoted to honouring the memory of Priscilla Opoku-Kwarteng, known in showbiz as Ebony, to that of Dr. K.B Asante.
Even as a regular columnist in the Daily Graphic for many years, he wasn’t given a banner headline to either announce or celebrate his life, yet the same Daily Graphic in its Monday February 19, edition, carried as its lead story a screaming headline captioned “Ebony Reigns, As One-Week Observance Turns Into Carnival”.
A disclaimer is very necessary at this point, before I proceed. I am as saddened and disturbed as everyone, who turned up last Sunday to observe the one week of Ebony’s death. No human being should die a painful death, as she was made to endure.
A budding talent so young does not deserve to die this early, especaiily when she was about getting onto the world stage, she had a life ahead of her.
In her memory what I always use to console myself is; she came, she saw and she conquered. May her soul rest in the bosom of the Lord.
Dr. K.B Asante, was a man who rose from the base of human struggle to lofty heights of nobility.
Ambassador K.B Asante, loved his country and it showed, that is why I am at pains that, the country, he loved and dedicated his life to, has not recognized him, whiles he was alive and even in death, we all pretend, not to have noticed such a wonderful soul is no more with us.
He was the symbol of statesmanship, patriotism, vision, and courage. These were some of the excellent leadership qualities that had guided him through his years of active public service
I believe this role model, who inspired, prayed and contributed his quota to the service of God and fatherland, deserves better than, we have done for him, since his unfortunate passing last month.
Ambassador K.B Asante’s life, has shown that it is possible to be a politician in Africa and be guileless and corrupt-free.
It has been said that there are two kinds of people in politics: those who want to be great and those who want to do great things, KB Asante was the latter and all of us are better off because of that.
He did many good things for the nation, the nation owes him a debt that can never be repaid, all he asked for when he served this nation, was to honour him in death.
Great people seldom walk on the surface of this earth, he lived long enough so that, he can impart knowledge in the younger generation.
The work ethics that helped them during the First Republic he passed onto us, this he did, by devoting his time, energy and intellect to write a column ‘Voice From Afar’ every week.
Today, we are celebrating Ebony, because people like Ambassador K.B Asante, left us a country to be proud of. They laid their lives, so that you and I, could have a proud people, proud of its heritage.
As a diplomat, we always fall on him, anytime matters of diplomacy come up. I remember when the issue involving Ghana’s High Commissioner to South Africa, Ayisi Boateng came up, when he said, he was going to put members of the New Patriotic Party, above others, Ambassador K.B Asante, was all over explaining to us the roles and responsibilities of a Diplomat, he always brought his experience to bear on any topic he is called upon to speak on.
Ghana has lost a gem; we can make him proud and his family proud for giving him to us. He had children and grandchildren to devote his time to, but he preferred to share it with us. He was among the rare breed of politicians, who did not see themselves in politics for their selfish end.
He didn’t die a rich man, he was never accused, not even a whisper of stealing our money and yet we have decided that, he does not deserve a big send off.
He defied expectation in old age, when many expected him to take a long rest, even in old age, he was very audible and could speak clearly, he will truly be missed, for living and breathing socialism. He was among the few, who did not only profess their love and admiration for Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, but lived his life defending him.
Great men like Ambassador Asante, may be no more, but what they have made people to become, because of their greatness, will forever be a guide.
To work often and hard, to separate the possible from the impossible or live for, and about the people, to put people at ease with your honesty, to win the respect of intelligent people, and earn the appreciation of honest critics, to create and design beauty, to find the best in others, to be worried for the helplessly unhappy, to leave the world a bit better, whether by the courage he gave, or by the smiles he put on people’s faces, to know even one life has breathed easier because Dr. K.B Asante had lived, this, is, to have made an impact.
Kwaku Baprui Asante (26 March 1924 – 22 January 2018) was a Ghanaian diplomat, writer and politician. Born on 26 March 1924, he was the Secretary to Ghana‘s First President Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. Asante served under most Heads of States in Ghana, starting from Nkrumah, and also served as the Principal Secretary at African Affairs Secretariat from 1960 to 1966.
He died on 22 January 2018 at the age of 93.
May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace.